Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's official. I have a teenager.

She is blossoming into a lovely young woman - talented, bright, funny, responsible, sweet, wise, virtuous, helpful, conscientious, kind and beautiful!  I don't know what I would do without her.

Photos by Carrie Elton Photography

Happy Birthday - I love you!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Main Floor Remodel - Day 1

Our living areas were taped off
Our kitchen area was moved to the basement
And here is the progress of the first day...

I can't believe it's gone!

Our current kitchen and appliances are in our garage waiting for Habitat for Humanity
It has been messy and loud but at least it's happening!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The "Before" Pictures

Remember THIS POST? That very night the Bishopric stopped by and called me to be the Primary President.

Anyway - the day of demolition is fast approaching.  I wanted to post a few of the "before" pictures before the house is turned upside down.
Here is the living room.  That big pile of wood is our new floor.  It has to acclimate (dry out) for about 3 weeks.  The main changes we will see in this room will be the removal of the chair rail and baseboards, paint, and cased new windows.  Two French doors will also be added so we can close off this room.
The entryway.  The changes will include removal of the chair rail, new baseboards, paint and a new wood floor.
We are getting new vinyl windows to replace our very old and inefficient aluminum ones.  Our new windows will not have grids.  The windows will be cased and have a wood sill.  The chair rail will be removed throughout the entire main floor and we will be replacing the baseboards with a taller baseboard.
The kitchen/dining room.  This drop-down ceiling with the lovely tri-paneled fluorescent light will be removed (hooray!).  Several can lights will be added.
This pantry will be removed and some new cabinets built in along the entire wall.
Cabinets, countertops, appliances will be replaced.  There's that fluorescent light again! 
This area will be replaced and the configuration rearranged.  (No, I do not have 9 kids.)
This layout will pretty much be the same.  Wood floors will replace the linoleum.
Coat, backpack and shoe area will be moved to the laundry room.  Is that a basket of laundry on the floor?  Oops.  Sorry.
Half-bath counter and sink will be placed.
Family room.  Paint, windows, casing, chair rail, etc.  By the time this whole project is over - I can guarantee the carpet will need to be replaced too.
Yesterday and today the window guys worked in the snow and rain (yes it's Spring!) to replace the windows before demolition.  They installed half of the windows but decided to wait on the rest until the weather clears.  We are loving the clear windows! 

Monday is the big demo day! We are busy packing up the kitchen and everything else. I really hope we can survive this!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fed Up With the Fitted Sheet

I promise I am not dumb but for years I have struggled with how to fold a fitted sheet.  To my mother's credit - she did teach me the gist of how to fold a fitted sheet but I never really got the hang of how to create a nicely folded fitted sheet that would stack perfectly above the matching flat sheet (this makes it sound like I am really organized - but I am not!).  Since we have had house guests two weekends in a row - I have been doing plenty of sheet folding,  Today I just got fed up.  So I did what I usually do when I am stumped...I turn to the internet - youtube to be specific.  I have found many wonderful tutorials on youtube (for example how to curl hair with a flat iron) and once more, I was not disappointed.  There were at least 10 (!) tutorials on how to fold fitted sheets and each one was just a tiny bit different.  This one was my favorite. This woman is very nice and gives lots of encouragement at the end of the tutorial:

Don't make fun! Maybe there are others out there that will benefit.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Lovely Niece Came for a Visit!

We were lucky enough to have my darling niece stay with us for the weekend. We decided to make the most of it! Unfortunately I only have some lousy pictures from my phone.

She spent the first day shadowing Wes at the hospital and clinic.  We were all jealous of that!
We had a fun girls' lunch
And then we all got manicures!
We celebrated the March birthdays

Addie got Wii dance for her birthday (man, I'm sore!).  Totally fun!
We went ice skating
SJ was having a blast with her skate aide (great invention!).  Even my Dad - who just turned 77 - took to the ice!  All was going well until I tried to skate ahead to take a picture of everybody - I fell and hit the ice hard.  I have a huge bruise on my elbow and a sore neck and hip.  Ouch! 
The fun isn't over yet! My niece will be here until Sunday but she is currently staying with other family members. It was wonderful having her in our home! She is such a lovely person, inside and out.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cello Recital

Last Friday Isaac gave his first solo cello recital.  He has completed Suzuki Book 1 and performed the entire book from memory - 17 pieces - almost 40 minutes of music.  He worked so hard to prepare and did an outstanding job!  His teacher also performed a beautiful cello solo.  There were many family members and friends there to support him.  We are so proud!

Here is a video of the last two pieces of the recital - Minuet in C and Minuet No. 2 by Bach.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Two All-Consuming Projects

I am in the middle of two huge projects that are almost consuming me and are only going to get worse!

First of all, I am one of the co-chairs for our end-of-the-year carnival at the elementary school.  With little to no experience, preparing for this event (which is in May) has been a tremendous amount of work.  But I have a great team and we are making headway.  It is going to be a lot of fun with our traditional activities along with some new ones.  There will be food by Pizza Pie Cafe and Subway sandwiches, entertainment, carnival games, a dunk tank, a reptile booth, an old-fashioned photo booth, a train ride, tie dye crafts, a petting zoo, pony rides and more!  Whew!  Just thinking about it gets my blood going.  We've got a ton of work to do!

And if that weren't enough...we are getting ready to launch a large remodelling project at our house!  We are putting in an Ikea kitchen, painting, installing wood floors, new windows and a bunch of other stuff.  We are very excited but extremely busy getting things ready.  We are in the final process of choosing contractors, hardware, paint colors, floor stain, appliances, windows, light fixtures, etc. and this is no easy task (as I am sure a lot of you know!).  Decisions, decisions!  For someone who is so indecisive and almost always orders the wrong thing on the menu - it an be tough.  But we are getting there.  If everything goes according to schedule (does it ever?) demolition is scheduled for the end of this month!

And how about this timing?  Ikea in Utah is having a huge kitchen sale right now!  And if we weren't already getting a screamin' deal!  After doing hours of research on Ikea kitchens - we felt it was definitely the way to go.  Although we are only planning on getting one Ikea appliance so we may not be able to take full advantage of the promotion.  Anyone need a new appliance?  Fridge?  Range?  Dishwasher?  Induction cooktop?  Let us know!

I will (hopefully) be posting pictures along the way.  But here are a few pictures just to give you a taste of what we are aiming for.

A white kitchen! 
We are using the Ikea Adel White cabinets pictured below.  Different handles.  Caeserstone Lagos Blue (grey) countertop (copying the cousins).  White subway tile backsplash pictured below.  We are also using the Ikea double bowl farmhouse sink - larger than the one pictured below.
Installing a white oak floor with a medium to dark stain.  Not quite as dark as the one pictured below.

I don't think we have any idea what we are getting ourselves into.  But ready or we go!